I’m super excited today to welcome new author Karen McManus to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 blog event. Her debut young adult mystery novel, One of Us is Lying is a thrilling and addicting read. That’s why I am thrilled to have the opportunity to ask the mastermind behind the wonderful book a few questions about writing, influences, and of course the book itself, One of Us is Lying, so I hope you guys enjoy the interview.
Following the interview with Karen is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of One Of Us is Lying. And if you’d like the to win a hardcover copy of the US edition of the book just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win. Open to everyone where book depository ships.
Interview with Karen McManus
One of Us if Lying is your first published novel. Tell us a bit about the pathway you took to get it in print.
I was one of those kids who told everyone I was going to be an author when I grew up. But the older I got, the harder I found it to finish a book. When I graduated high school I started the college-career-family trajectory and mostly forgot about writing.
I got the urge to try again a couple of years ago, and for the first time in ages I actually finished a book. It wasn’t particularly good, but it reminded me how much I loved to write, and it got me plugged into the online writing community. I queried that book to resounding crickets, then shelved it and wrote a second. That book got more agent interest, but things were moving slowly. In fall 2015 I got the idea for One of Us is Lying, and I drafted and revised it by the end of that year. Once I started querying it things happened quickly, and I had a book deal a couple of months later.
So my writing career transformed within a year, but it took three books to get there.
Why did you decide to write mystery, rather than another type of book? And why YA?
When I started writing again, it was partly because I was inspired by reading the Hunger Games trilogy. The voice and the energy of that series really drew me in, and I decided to try my hand at YA. It was a natural fit so I’ve kept with it. As for mystery, it’s more like the genre chose me when I got the book idea. Neither of the other books I’d written had any mystery elements.
Have other mystery writers influenced you and, if so, how have they influenced you?
I read a lot of Agatha Christie as a kid, and that was a definite influence—both generally, with elements like the locked-room vibe, and specifically, because the notion of a crime where everyone has a motive was partly inspired by “Murder on the Orient Express.”
One of Us is Lying is written in multiple perspectives, giving readers a much-appreciated peek of each characters. What kind of preparation did you go putting yourself in the mindset of different characters? Which of them is easier to write and why? Do you have a favorite?
I had a playlist for each character, and I used that to switch headspaces. I also did very in-depth character worksheets and I’d occasionally go over those to see if there were any aspects I hadn’t fully fleshed out yet.
I don’t have a favorite (it would be like picking a favorite child!) but Nate was by far the easiest to write. His voice was always very clear to me, and his scenes flowed quickly with almost no need for revision.
One of Us is Lying is an intricate novel with all its mystery and lies. How much of a challenge was it to write the book? How did you figure out all the details for the plot or when to insert the big reveal?
I’d never used an outline before One of Us Is Lying, but the plot was complicated enough that I knew I had to. I had a spreadsheet that listed out the major plot points that needed to happen, along with key character development moments, and clues/hints that had to be dropped. But there was still a lot of room for improvisation, which for me is the fun part of writing.
Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?
I’m working on my second book for Delacorte Press, which is another standalone YA in the suspense/thriller vein. It’s scheduled to be published in 2018.
Thanks so much Karen!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. Her debut young adult novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, will be released from Delacorte Press/Random House in May 2017 and published internationally in 18 territories. Karen’s work is represented by Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio. To learn more visit http://www.karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
“An addictive, devour-in-one-sitting thriller with so many twists and turns you’ll be wondering until the very end: Who really killed Simon?”—Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters
“This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A smart, twisted, and unpredictable YA mystery that will have readers guessing until the very end.”—SLJ
What’s up for Grab?
- Hardcover copy of the US edition of One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
- Open to international where book depository ships
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends July 30th, 2017
- Prize will be sent by the author
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.